BRADENTON, Fla. – Fitting of the tallest shortstop in major league history, Oneil Cruz is setting his sights high for the 2023 season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ 6-foot-7 budding star talked with reporters Wednesday about what he would like to accomplish in what should be his first full major-league season.
“I’m looking for 30/30 or 40/40 this year,” Cruz said.
That’s in 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases or 40 homers and 40 steals.
No Pirates player has ever had a 40/40 season. Barry Bonds is the only one to reach the 30/30 mark, doing so in 1990 and 1992.
While shooting for a 40/40 might seem a little on the arrogant side, Cruz said it in a matter-of-fact way through a translator following a spring training workout.
No Pirates player would have a remote chance of pulling off such a feat other than the multi-talented Cruz. The 24-year-old has outstanding power in his bat and blazing speed on the bases.
As a rookie last season, he had 17 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 87 games. He also hit .233/.294/.450 while striking out 126 times in 361 plate appearances.
“The one thing that is going to be under my control this year is to go play hard and put on a good show for the people who go out to Pittsburgh to see me play,” Cruz said.